Don’t believe the tripe; mortgage calculators for maximum loans? How much can you really borrow?
Author: Andy Bedford » Publish Date: 31 July 2009
The next part of my series: why you should use a mortgage broker, is the mortgage affordability calculator.
We do a little pay-per-click advertising on various search engines; this is no secret.
But it surprised me to get so many hits on the somewhat spurious term; mortgage calculator. It occurred to me that this might be people searching for their maximum loan amount rather than monthly payments.
If this is the case, and you are reading this article because you want to know how much you can borrow, let me explain something; most consumer-facing calculators for maximum loans are a waste of your time. Plain and simple.
This is particularly true with calculators on mortgage brokers’ websites or those on comparison sites.
Every lender has a different method of calculating how much of your income to consider, and how many times that income they will lend in different scenarios (such as lower amounts for smaller deposits).
They all have individual approaches to factoring in typical expenditures or calculating other commitments like credit card debt; or other loans.
They may deduct a figure for each dependent child you have; they may use a form of stress testing based on a notionally higher interest rate too.
In short, it is highly nuanced. It is extremely difficult to create a calculator that accurately reflects these subtleties; most sites present a very conservative and vastly oversimplified figure as a gimmick.
So whilst it is tempting to get a quick answer to these questions, they are rarely worthwhile having.
Even the calculators on lenders’ intermediary websites are highly dependent on individual case-by-case discussions of a client’s circumstances to ensure the figures entered will reflect the values as interpreted by the lender; it requires considerable industry experience to get even these calculators to produce accurate outcomes.
It may seem laborious to speak to a mortgage adviser, but an experienced one should be able to condense all that nuance into a relatively brief conservation; that’s the real hidden value of a human advice process.